THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Sugathakumari’s body was cremated with full state honours at Santhikavadam in Thycaud here at 4.15pm on Wednesday.
The cremation was in adherence to the Covid-19 protocol. Her daughter Lakshmi, sisters’ children Padmanabhan and Sreedevi Pillai, and grandson Vishnu were the family members who attended the function.
Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran and District Collector Navjot Khosa, both in PPE kits, represented the state government.
The full state honours came as an irony since the poet had earlier expressed her wish to avoid such routines at her cremation.
After recovering from the second heart attack, she had said that not even a single flower be laid on her body after her death.
The body should be cremated at Santhikavadam at the earliest. She lamented the wastage of flowers worth thousands of rupees as wreaths and bouquets.
She also wanted her ashes to be thrown to the sea at Shanghumukham. Sanchayanam and adiyantharam rituals too should be avoided, she had said.
Aranmula was her soul
For Sugathakumari, Aranmula was her soul. Always a winner in battles — be it for the protection of heritage, environment or less privileged — the fighting spirit of Sugathakumari, known as Teacher by Keralites, was from Aranmala. Belonging to Vazhuvelil family of Aranmula, Uthrittathi water festival, the Pampa, vallasadya and Lord Parthasarathi temple were part of her life.
The agitation against the Aranmula airport project was the last of Sugathakumari’s relentless fights, which included the Silent Valley movement.
Bringing together leaders of all sections of society, including political, cultural and spiritual fields, she won the hearts of people for the protection of the heritage, tradition and culture of Aranmula. Despite ill health, Sugathakumari visited Aranmula at least a dozen times as part of the agitation.